Another element of finding others who share in your passion - people that can understand your steps forward and triumphs. Only another writer can really understand the huge step sending out your first query is, getting your first short story accepted in a magazine, getting an article or column in your local paper, getting a partial request from an agent, etc.
They get it. Someone who shares your passion knows the work that it takes for each step that you accomplish. They get excited with and for you when you let them in on your good news.
On my first partial request from an agent, I immediatly emailed a writer friend before I told anyone else, why? Because I knew she would get it. She would understand what it means. I then told my husband, LOL, and he congratulated me, but didn't really understand what that meant.
Keep those people around you that can not only share and help you through the struggles, but that can pat you on the back and say good job when you email off that query or can jump up and down with you when you get that request or publication. The pat on the back and the jumping up and down can be done over the 'net too.